Steve Jobs once said that Apple almost went bankrupt because it focused too much on making a profit


In light of all the recent price hikes to Apple’s products I was reminded by a quote I read once from Steve Jobs. He was talking about why Apple started failing and almost went bankrupt before they brought Steve back into the company.

And the quote:

What happened at Apple, to be honest, over the years was the goal used to be to make the best computers in the world. And that was goal one. Goal two, we got from Hewlett-Packard actually which was “we have to make a profit”. Because if we don’t make a profit we can’t do goal one. So, yeah, I mean we enjoyed making a profit, but the purpose of making a profit was so we can make the best computers in the world. Along the way somewhere those two got reversed. The goal is to make a lot of money and well, if we have to make some good computers well ok we’ll do that… ’cause we can make a lot of money doing that. And, it’s very subtle. It’s very subtle at first, but it turns out it’s everything. That one little subtle flip… takes 5 years to see it, but that one little subtle flip in 5 years means everything.

To be clear, I’m not posting this as a comment on the current state of Apple. To me, Apple then and Apple now are two completely different beasts. But I did appreciate the quote, thought it worth sharing.